Does Biotin Have Side Effects in Dogs?

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Dogs excrete excess biotin through their urine.
Dogs excrete excess biotin through their urine. (Image: Big Cheese/Big Cheese Photo/Getty Images)

Your dog gets most of his necessary biotin, an essential B vitamin, through healthy intestinal bacteria. It is water soluble, so your dog excretes any excess through his urine, thus eliminating any worries about side effects. A healthy dog on a balanced nutritional diet is not likely to have a biotin deficiency, so consult your veterinarian before adding a biotin supplement.

Biotin Benefits

Your dog needs biotin for a healthy skin, coat and nails, as well as for proper functioning of his thyroid, adrenal and sweat glands, muscle formation, bone marrow and overall nervous system. It also helps him properly use fat, proteins and carbohydrates, and may relieve muscle pain. It can also ensure healthy litters in female dogs.

When Supplementation Might Be Warranted

Contact your veterinarian about a biotin supplement if you notice unexplained skin lesions on your dog, or if he appears unusually tired, is eating his feces, or his coat appears dry. If you regularly feed your dog raw eggs, you may be depleting his biotin intake. Cooking the egg deactivates the enzyme avidin contained in the egg white that causes this depletion. Egg yolks, though, are good sources of biotin. A dog taking an extended course of antibiotics may need biotin supplementation, as this may destroy the healthy bacteria in the intestines that provide him with an important biotin source.

Natural Biotin Sources

In addition to egg yolks, your dog can get biotin from brewer’s yeast, oils from seeds, and liver.

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